“…we learned music, it was a large part of our life (growing up)”

I always danced. My parents were very much into the arts and growing up we always went to concerts. In India at the time there were no hotels or anything so we entertained in our home. It’s not like in the US where little kids can go somewhere to dance. Teachers came to our home because dance was not encouraged in India. I grew up in the cusp of colonialism and Independent India and am also of the Christian faith and it was the belief of many that if you were Christian, you were very Anglo. The British had looked at this and our interest in the arts and Indian dance especially as not being a good thing to do; frowned upon. My parents thought it was important that we knew our roots so I grew up with that strong thinking. My sister danced, we learned music, it was a large part of our life. When we moved to Bombay there was an opportunity and I had to wait to dance because I wasn’t in school at the time and they felt I wasn’t quite ready, but my sister could go. I would sit and watch her all the time so I felt I was ready. Finally they let me take the classes, I jumped in, and immediately they put me in my sister’s class.

In college they had just started an academy for the cultural arts because India was just starting to recognize its roots. So I was lucky. They had this very well known choreographer in India come in to do ballet. We called ballets of a sweeter dance. I went to the ballet and was told to watch but I ended up being cast in the ballet. That was very exciting for me in fact I think that really put the seed into me. I played the evil demon and it was so much fun! It was just a minute long but it’s still very vivid in my mind. During that ballet I played both the happy village girl and the evil demon so I would constantly be changing between costumes and through that experience I learned the magic of theatre and I really think that’s what sparked my love for theatre, dance, the whole thing.